Fri, April 23, 2021

Today’s ANZAC Day Ceremony held at Sheldon College was attended by a vast crowd of students, staff and community members in tribute to Australia’s servicemen and women, past and present.

The meaningful commemoration ensures that the significance of ANZAC Day is shared with future generations. As we remember the ANZACS of 1915, we also remember all of those who have followed in their footsteps.  

In a moving address, returned serviceman and 2005 Sheldon College Alumnus, Mr Tommy Archer, shared his experiences as a member of the Royal Australian Infantry between 2009 and 2013. Tommy painted a vivid picture of life in a modern war zone and shared some of the challenges he faced on his return. He spoke of the close bond of mateship and camaraderie he found in the Army and how “being home has never really felt the same since”. Despite Tommy’s subsequent professional success as a member of the Queensland Police Service, he “struggled to find his place in a world where he wasn’t a soldier anymore”. Conversations with other returned servicemen revealed that he was not alone in this experience and have inspired him and fellow veteran, Shane Klupp, to produce the successful podcast, ‘The Maladjusted Monkeys’. With every episode, the series sheds light on the issues surrounding mental health and supports veterans and Emergency Service personnel in Australia and around the world adjust to a new normal. This ANZAC Day, Tommy says:   

“It’s always important on ANZAC Day to think of the diggers who fought in such severe conditions at a time when evil was at our doorstep. It’s important to think of the diggers who fought in the modern conflicts and reflect on the lives that never came back. But if you can, this year, I ask that you think of the veterans whose scars are not visible, the veterans who don’t know how to fit in amongst you anymore, the veterans who are trying to figure out who they are without the green uniform and a rifle in their hand. The spirit of ANZAC lives in all of us and it’s important that we keep the spirit alive, and we look after our mates.” 

The service was interspersed with musical pieces performed by various Sheldon College vocal ensembles and accompanied by the Sheldon College Concert Band. Year 12 trumpeter, Angus Larnach marked the occasion with a poignant delivery of the ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’.   Special guest, Major Piper Bruce Grice, returned to Sheldon College for yet another year to perform the ‘Lament- Flowers of the Forest’ on the bagpipes.  

A heart-felt speech was delivered by Years 11 and 9 Students, Madeleine and Katerina Dugdale, accompanied by their Grandfather, Mr Leonard Mason.  Madeleine and Katerina spoke of their Grandpa, Mr Leonard Mason a WWII veteran who served in the 2/2nd Machine Gun Battalion throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa. Madeleine recounted Len’s vivid memories of the second battle of El Alamein which heralded “the beginning of the end of the Western Desert Campaign“ and shared with us the joy and gratitude Len felt as his battalion sailed home through Sydney Harbour. These poignant memories point to the past while encouraging young people to learn about and be inspired by the sacrifice of those who serve. 

Sappers from Enoggera Barracks accompanied by their bomb squad dogs led the processional. Together with VIPs’, Wellington Manor residents and student representatives from each home room, wreaths were laid in a touching tribute to our ANZACs.  Following the service, the members of the Enoggera Barracks then delivered a presentation to Junior College students in Year 3, answering questions about their Army service and the important role service dogs play in the Army.     To conclude the moving ceremony, guests, were served morning tea by the Year 8 Middle College Leaders in the Sheldon Event Centre.

Lest We Forget.